Boxing


Night of the Undisputed: Final Camp Notes

05.12.03 - It might be cold outside on The Boardwalk, but the temperature is rising in Atlantic City in anticipation of Don King Productions’ “Night of the Undisputed” featuring a record eight world championships on Dec. 13 at Boardwalk Hall. Less than 500 tickets remain to see the event live, and boxing fans around the globe will be able to see five of the eight world championships live on pay per view.

They will include Undisputed Middleweight World Champion and World Boxing Association Super Champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins against three-time and current WBA Middleweight Champion William Joppy; WBA Super Champion and World Boxing Council Welterweight Champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga facing International Boxing Federation Welterweight Champion Cory Spinks—the winner becoming the undisputed world welterweight champion.

Former heavyweight world champions Hasim “The Rock” Rahman and John “The Quietman” Ruiz squaring off for the WBA Interim Heavyweight Championship.

Former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion and current World Boxing Organization Junior welterweight titleholder titleholder Zab “Super” Judah meeting WBO Latin American and Caribbean Lightweight Champion Jaime Rangel.

Undefeated WBA Super Welterweight Champion Alejandro “Terra” Garcia defending his crown against undefeated No. 1 WBA contender “Tremendous” Travis Simms.

The three remaining non-televised world championships will feature WBA and IBF Light Flyweight Champion Victor “El Acorazado” Burgos facing WBA Light Flyweight Champion Rosendo “El Bufalo” Alvarez; IBF Junior Bantamweight Champion Luis “El Demoledor” Perez putting his title on the line against former IBF Junior Bantamweight Champion Felix “Macho” Machado; and undefeated WBC Crusierweight Champion Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite defending his crown against WBA and WBO Latin titeholder Luis “El Lenador” Pineda.

TRAINER BOUIE FISHER SPEAKS OUT ON WORKING AGAIN WITH BERNARD HOPKINS

IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR

“Everything is coming together,” Bouie Fisher said in regard to being reunited with middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, who faces William Joppy in a world 160-pound championship unification bout Dec. 13 in Atlantic City on HBO Pay-Per-View. “I always said Bernard was another son to me, as close as my own blood. We were separated over a little over a year and for only one of his fights. But we are back together again and it feels like I have reunited with a member of my own family—like a family reunion. It’s the reuniting of a family.’’

TRAINING CHANGES

“I did notice a few changes when we started working together again,” Fisher said. “Nothing that I can be too specific about, but they were subtle things as if he had been rerouted. He was too far off where I had left him and it just took a bit of straightening out the path and putting him back on the road we have traveled on throughout his career. There are certain patterns you recognize, certain things you are used to seeing that you know work; he’s not where I want him to be, but we’ll be there by the time of the fight. He’s almost home.”

DISCIPLINE IS THE KEY TO BOXING

“I did notice that there were some things that became undisciplined and he wasn’t doing what he had done when he was with me,” Fisher said. “It’s like a team without their coach. They can still do things right because they are great athletes but there is no discipline. He basically called back the coach and now the discipline is back too.

SECRETS TO TRAINING

“With good training there are good secrets,” the veteran trainer said. “There are secret things you can’t even see in the ring but work well every time. It’s not just about tricks either. It’s mental mind secrets that come with preparation. That’s what he has -- skill, preparation and all the secrets.’’

GOOGLE SEARCHING

“Bernard’s like a computer,” Fisher points out. “If there is something that has changed over time and it doesn’t work as well as before, we search “his” computer, which is his knowledge of boxing. Bernard is a smart, schooled fighter who knows everything there is to know about boxing. He is smart enough to know that when he has to alter his game plan, he “Google” searches himself to find the solution he needs to be successful. Everything is in his brain, and I am there to remind him that it’s all there, and he just needs to find it. We work on it until his search is complete and the information he needs is recognized and incorporated in to his work.’’

NO LAYOFFS FOR HOPKINS

Bernard lives a whole time lifestyle of a professional fighter. He doesn’t deviate from healthy, clean living between fights. He is a true fighter in that way. That’s why he can continue to fight and continue to be the champion he has been for his 16 title defenses.

AGING COMES WITH THE TERRITORY

“Of course, there is a natural age progression that happens to all of us and none of us can stop or help,” Fisher said. “ It happens to everyone as we get older. For Bernard, he hasn’t stopped being the fighter he is, but he does have to adapt and adjust to those things naturally affected by the aging process.’’

LEGEND IN THE MAKING

“I believe in my heart of hearts, and I am not just saying this because I work with him, but Bernard Hopkins is the best middleweight boxing has seen since the great Ray Robinson.” Fisher said. “He still has a lot to prove and each fight he will show you something even more impressive since the last.’’

WILLIAM JOPPY CAMP NOTES

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH


“This is it for me, do-or-die,” Joppy, a three-time World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight champion, said. “I am more than ready to fight and will do whatever it takes to win. I know that no one is giving me a chance, but that is just their opinion. Everyone will see on Dec. 13 what I am all about.

“I have tried to fight Bernard Hopkins for years, since even before the middleweight tournament. He won it and became a star. I lost to [Felix] Trinidad and sort of fell off the map. Hopkins can say what he wants, but I really feel he hurt himself by avoiding me in the past, choosing instead to take a couple of easy fights against guys no one cared about. I was always willing to fight him, of course, but he would not even negotiate. I really feel he did a disservice to me, the 160-pound division and the fans.

“I am looking at this fight as redemption for me, a chance to beat Hopkins and become undisputed world middleweight champion.

“Career-wise, the difference between winning and losing this fight is absolutely incredible.’’

NO RESPECT

“I do not think I am given credit for what I have done, and Hopkins is getting too much,” the 5-foot-10, 33-year-old Joppy, who is 34-2-1 with 25 knockouts overall and 11-2 with seven knockouts in world title fights, said. “This is going to be a helluva fight, one of the best in the middleweight division in years.’’

WORKING IT: Joppy plans continue to train at the Round One Gym in Capital Heights, Md., until his arrival into Atlantic City on Sunday, Dec. 7.

“It has been a basic camp for me, nothing fancy,” said Joppy, who has not fought since retaining his WBA crown with a 10th-round TKO over Naotaka Hozumi on Oct. 10, 2002, in Japan. “I am not doing anything any differently. I did not bring in a conditioner. I did not hire a boxing nutritionist. Like always, I run in the morning, then I rest and then I do my boxing workout in the early afternoon. Even though I have not fought in a while, I never stopped going to the gym. I am a gym rat.’

WILLIAM JOPPY CAMP NOTES

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH


“This is it for me, do-or-die,” Joppy, a three-time World Boxing Association (WBA) middleweight champion, said. “I am more than ready to fight and will do whatever it takes to win. I know that no one is giving me a chance, but that is just their opinion. Everyone will see on Dec. 13 what I am all about.

“I have tried to fight Bernard Hopkins for years, since even before the middleweight tournament. He won it and became a star. I lost to [Felix] Trinidad and sort of fell off the map. Hopkins can say what he wants, but I really feel he hurt himself by avoiding me in the past, choosing instead to take a couple of easy fights against guys no one cared about. I was always willing to fight him, of course, but he would not even negotiate. I really feel he did a disservice to me, the 160-pound division and the fans.

“I am looking at this fight as redemption for me, a chance to beat Hopkins and become undisputed world middleweight champion.

“Career-wise, the difference between winning and losing this fight is absolutely incredible.’’

NO RESPECT

“I do not think I am given credit for what I have done, and Hopkins is getting too much,” the 5-foot-10, 33-year-old Joppy, who is 34-2-1 with 25 knockouts overall and 11-2 with seven knockouts in world title fights, said. “This is going to be a helluva fight, one of the best in the middleweight division in years.’’

WORKING IT: Joppy plans continue to train at the Round One Gym in Capital Heights, Md., until his arrival into Atlantic City on Sunday, Dec. 7.

“It has been a basic camp for me, nothing fancy,” said Joppy, who has not fought since retaining his WBA crown with a 10th-round TKO over Naotaka Hozumi on Oct. 10, 2002, in Japan. “I am not doing anything any differently. I did not bring in a conditioner. I did not hire a boxing nutritionist. Like always, I run in the morning, then I rest and then I do my boxing workout in the early afternoon. Even though I have not fought in a while, I never stopped going to the gym. I am a gym rat.’’

HASIM RAHMAN CAMP NOTES

‘ROCK’ HAS A NEW TRAINER

The Dec. 13 fight against former WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz will be the first for Rahman since hooking up with new trainer, former world champion, Roger Mayweather.

“Working with Roger has been totally great,” Rahman, who brutally knocked out Lennox Lewis to capture the former World Boxing Council/International Boxing Federation/International Boxing Organization (WBC/IBF/IBO) heavyweight title on Nov. 17, 2001, said. “It has been a much different camp than anything I have had in the past, as we are still getting to know each other, but it has been good, I am learning different things and I am more motivated than I ever have been in my career. I want more than anything to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.

“I was criticized for weighing so much (259½ pounds) for my last fight, but weight will not be an issue this time, or ever again. Besides teaching me new things, Roger has really been working me hard on my conditioning. I will step into the ring on Dec. 13 weighing around 239-240 pounds.’’

NO LOUISE TALK HERE

Rahman, who is appearing before a paying audience for the first time since boxing David Tua to a disputed 12-round draw on March 29, says there is no way he will underestimate John Ruiz when they meet for the interim WBA belt.

“I know that he is taking this fight very seriously, so I will not be taking any shortcuts,” Rahman said. “At this level, the way these guys hit back, you always have to be ready. How can you estimate what this fight means to the winner?”

TRAVELIN’ MAN

The 6'-2 ½", 31-year-old Rahman has been working out in Las Vegas since moving to the desert community in mid-summer. He is planning to arrive in Atlantic City on Friday, Dec. 5. The next night, he will walk Monte Barrett into the ring for his stablemate’s fight against Joe Mesi at Madison Square Garden on HBO.

A LITTLE ZAB WILL DO YA: JUDAH CAMP NOTES

ALL IN THE FAMILY: BROTHERLY LOVE

Zab Judah avoids the loneliness of training camp by bringing members of his family with him. His father, Yoel, acts as his trainer; his uncle, Jimmy, wraps his hands and works the corner, and at least two of his seven brothers—Ariel 27, Daniel 26 (a professional in his own right), Josiah 24, Katon 23, Elida 20, Michaele (Mikie), 19, and Joseph, 17—are there to help.

Yoel alternates the boys with each training camp. For this one, Daniel, Mikie and Joseph all helped out.

“We are a very close family and for each camp, two of my other sons come to help,” said Yoel. “Mind you, they only get to come if they are willing to work. Otherwise, they stay home!”

WE ARE FAMILY: FORMER CHAMP PRYOR’S SON HELPS OUT, TOO

Family seems to be the theme when it comes to Judah. He has asked former junior welterweight champion Aaron Pryor’s son, Stephan (a southpaw that has gone 8-0 as a pro) to assist him as he prepares for his WBO junior welterweight title defense against the left-handed Jaime Rangel on Dec. 13 on HBO Pay-Per-View. Also helping out with sparring is another southpaw, Ricky Quiles, and brothers Daniel and Joseph. Brother Mikie serves as notes keeper and statistician.

THE HONEYMOON’S NOT OVER

One week before he left for training camp, Zab Judah married his longtime partner, Meda, in a ceremony attended by more than 300 friends and family members. The nuptials came off without a hitch, but Judah had some explaining to do after he informed his new bride that their honeymoon would have to wait until after the Dec. 13 fight.

“It took a little understanding on her part,” Judah said. “But she’s been with me long enough and knows the sacrifices we make for my boxing career.”

Although the newlyweds haven’t decided on the final location for the honeymoon, Judah wants to either go to Africa or take a world cruise. Offered the groom: “Since I had to make her wait, trust me when I tell you, I better come up with some place extra nice!”

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

Judah sports five karats worth of diamonds permanently attached to his front teeth. The boxer has had the dazzling bracelet on his teeth for almost three years. Since it is permanently attached, he does not take it out to fight or spar.

“It’s never really bothered me and my mouthpiece fits right over it,” Judah said. “And it fits my personality. As you know, I like the bling bling.”

Article posted on 05.12.2003



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